I write essays and short stories. I am working on a literary novel. I am also working on a middle grade novel. I have a short story collection that is seeking a home, and a file of short stories I want to write one day, when I have the time. I have research to do to, and two nascent nonfiction book projects which have yet to take form. How to juggle all of this, and things like family, friends, gardens and laundry, for instance?
I don’t know.
My novel is being read by a friend now, and it’s a huge relief to have that out of my “in box” so that I can go ahead and write that essay about gardening I’ve been meaning to write, and to revise those two short stories that no one wants to publish in their current state. So I shift.
Then there are writing-related chores, such as the deadline to apply to Yaddo, which looms. I spent an entire morning working on that, finding the right material to submit for them to read, getting my letters of recommendation in order, etc. It was not a morning of writing, but it was a morning spent trying to get time for my writing, and thus I consider it worthwhile.
I’ve also been offered a job for the fall as a Visiting Assistant Professor. Thrilling, of course, but now the juggling intensifies, goes from three balls in the air at once to 6 bowling balls which are on fire.
People ask me how I can do it, but I know how. I’ve done it before. You just have to make sure that your time is being taken up by things that you love, it will be a year of writing, of teaching, and of teaching writing, and so I will find the time for my students, because that is what helps me to sleep at night, and I will find the time for my writing, because that is what KEEPS me asleep at night.